Canned Food 101 for the Beginning Prepper

If you are interested in stocking up food to use in the event of an emergency, you may canned foodhave some questions. When you talk to other experienced preppers or do some research online, it is easy to panic and think you can’t possibly build up a supply of food that will last you for months. It can seem like an impossible feat, especially when you think of the cost involved.

It isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. These are some tips that preppers have been using to get their supplies built up. Yes, it does take time. Yes, it does take money. However, slow and steady wins the prepping game.

Set a Monthly Budget

Before you head to the store and start shopping, set a budget. You don’t want to buy too much, too soon. You will burn out. You will also end up spending more money than you need to. Part of prepping is doing what you can to get yourself in a good financial spot. Spending a lot of money on food that you are storing away could result in financial hardship.

Pick the Right Foods

Don’t buy foods your family will not eat. It is a waste of space and money. Do what you can to diversify your food storage, but keep it to the foods you eat. If your family isn’t a fan of tuna or peas, skip them and spend your money on foods they do eat.

Use Coupons and Shop the Ads

Don’t be afraid to be a bargain shopper. Have some money set aside so you can buy big when a canned food sale does hit. Learn some of the tricks mega-couponers use. Buy one get one free sales are an excellent way to beef up your pantry at half the price.cans

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Buying in bulk is generally the best way to save money. You will still need to do the math and make sure the bulk price is a good bargain. It isn’t a wise idea to buy bulk cans or family size cans of foods. You have to assume you won’t have refrigeration. Can your family eat a huge can of tomato sauce in one sitting or a big can of chili? You don’t want it to go to waste. An option is freeze-dried foods. This allows you to use a portion of the can, seal it up and it will be good for several weeks or longer. The freeze-dried foods have longer shelf lives and will taste just as good in 20 years as they do today. Canned food will lose flavor and does run the risk of spoiling.

Prepping is a great way to give yourself peace of mind. You will sleep better knowing you have a supply of food to sustain your family should there be a disaster or a financial collapse that leaves the budget stretched thin with no room for groceries. A supply of food is smart. Start with these simple tips and get started building up your food supply today.

Preparing for Snowpocalypse 2016

snowIt happens every year in one part of the country or another. A major snowstorm will paralyze a region for days. This leaves inhabitants grappling with the difficulty of getting to work, school and to the store to get basic supplies. This is why you must be prepared to hunker down for a few days while the area recovers and snowplows can get the snow off the road.

Heavy snow is almost surely going to knock out the power, which means you have an added difficulty to deal with when things are already tough. You need to be ready the day before the storm hits. Trying to get the supplies you need to ride out the storm the day of is difficult. You won’t be the only person who waited until the last minute. It would be a really good idea if you were ready to shelter in your home for several days, any day of the year.

The following list of items will help you stay safe as you hang out at home for a few days.empty shelves

Non-perishable food items; canned foods, dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods
Flashlights, lanterns and lots of spare batteries
Bottled water—if you are on your own well
Peanut butter
Crackers
Blankets—lots of blankets to help keep you warm if the power does go out
Sterno burners to cook your food
A generator is great if you have your own home
Board games
Deck of cards
Books, magazines
Solar charger for cell phone, laptop/tablets
Coffee percolater and coffee
Emergency candles and matches
Warm clothing

Be prepared to spend your time in one room of the house and close the doors to the rest of the rooms if the power goes out. The smaller the room, the easier it is to heat with your body heat and candles. NEVER burn any kind of fuel in a closed room. Put on your coat and beanie and wrap up in a warm blanket.

Don’t let the lack of power and inability to leave your home get you down. Enjoy the downtime and spend some quality time with family. It isn’t so bad eating by candlelight and playing old fashioned games. Reading books or simply having a real conversation with your family is also pretty exciting. Who knows, you may just come to appreciate being unplugged for a bit.

Don’t Get Caught in the Canned Food Trap

cansThere are plenty of preppers who put a great deal of faith, money and time into stockpiling cases upon cases of canned food. They shun other options like freeze-dried or dehydrated for various reasons. This is a dangerous practice. A good food storage will have a variety of foods in varying forms. Eating the same thing day in and day out isn’t only boring and repetitive, it can also make you sick.

There are some downsides to canned food that should be noted.

  • Most canned foods are high in sodium and nitrates that can increase risk of dehydration
  • Canned foods are heavy and require sturdy shelving
  • You are limited to certain foods
  • Once you open a can, you have to eat it all if there is no refrigeration

Now, to be fair, canned food is probably the most easily accessed and can be purchased anywhere and everywhere. It is also relatively inexpensive.

Freeze-driedhealthy freeze dried food

Freeze-dried food is a viable option that should be considered. Yes, it is more expensive, but it will last for decades or longer. You can buy freeze-dried food in full meals. Things like beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs and chicken and rice are just a sampling of the meals available. You can also purchase a variety of freeze-dried products like sliced sliced potatoes or freeze-dried egg powder that can be used to create a delicious meal.

Freeze-dried food needs very little water to transform into a typical meal. In fact, you need less water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than you do dehydrated food. Freeze-dried food is a little harder to find and will often need to be ordered online. Many companies will offer free shipping if your order reaches a certain dollar amount.

Dehydrated

Dehydrated foods are popular with preppers because they can be eaten as is if it isn’t possible to reconstitute the foods with water. Dehydrated foods are also much cheaper than freeze-dried, but are more expensive than canned. However, plenty of preppers have learned the art of drying their own food at home to save money.

Fruits, meats and vegetables can all be dehydrated. While you would typically buy dehydrated foods individually, you can put together soups and stews that are made up of a variety of dehydrated ingredients and store those on the shelves. Keep in mind, dehydrated foods take hours to reconstitute and do best with hot water. Dehydrated ingredients are best used in stews and soups where they can cook slowly and absorb the other flavors.

Don’t get caught in the trap of only stocking one type of food. Diversify your food storage and you will be happier for it when it comes time to rely on it after a disaster.

Canned or Freeze-Dried Food–What’s Best for Food Storage?

Preparing to survive some kind of catastrophe, whether it is a natural disaster, an act of war or financial collapse has become very mainstream as of late. People have seen what happens to those who are not prepared to survive in their homes for days or weeks without running to the grocery store or are forced to rely on the government for help. Basically, it is every man or family for himself. You need to keep a pantry stocked with food, water and other essentials in case of an emergency.

What do you stock?

If you are new to the prepping world, you probably have a few questions about what you should stock in your food pantry. Non-perishable foods are your best bet or foods that have long shelf lives. Your goal is to build up a food storage that will feed your family for a minimum of 30 days. Some ambitious preppers will shoot for a 6-month or even 1-year food store. It is up to you.

Canned Foodsfood pantry-1

Canned foods are typically the first thing you think of when it comes to food you can store in a pantry for a long time. You would be thinking right. However, there are some things you need to know about canned food.

• Canned food can spoil over time. When it does spoil, it can become lethal to consume.
• High temperatures can cause cans to swell and botulism is a strong possibility.
• Canned foods are heavy and difficult to transport
• Canned foods take up a great deal of room and require a very sturdy shelving system

With that said, one of the major bonuses to canned food is price. It is extremely cheap and you can stock a great deal of food for very little money.

Dehydrated/Freeze-Dried Foods

healthy freeze dried foodYou have seen these packs of food that are often used on backpacking trips. Any outdoor store will have a variety of these meals that are easily stowed away in a backpack or bug out bag. They have long shelf lives, with some extending up to 10 to 15 years. All that is required is a little water and a short wait and a meal complete with meat, vegetables and noodles are ready to eat. Military have been using meals like this for decades. They are often referred to as MREs or Meals Ready to Eat.

Lately, these freeze-dried and dehydrated foods have made the transition from single-serve packages to bulk cans and 5-gallon buckets. If you have seen the price tag on these items, you may initially cringe and quickly head back to the canned food aisle. Before you do, check out the benefits to storing dehydrated or freeze-dried foods.

• Lightweight and easy to store on shelves
• Long shelf lives when stored correctly
• Bulk cans can be resealed after use for up to 30 days
• No risk of food becoming spoiled or potentially deadly if consumed
• Large variety of meals including dairy, fruits, vegetables, meats and pasta

When it comes down to it, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are the best choice for your food storage needs. The cans and buckets do cost more up front, but when you consider the price per meal, these foods are much less expensive than canned foods. The dehydrated foods are more nutritional and you will be amazed at the variety of food available. When you are preparing to survive a situation, living off of canned veggies and beans is certainly an option, but if you could eat scalloped potatoes covered in cheese with a delicious chili, what would you choose? You can supplement your food stores with canned foods, but ideally, you will want to spend your money on the freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.

Preparing for Hurricane Season

hurricane season

Experts are predicting more severe hurricanes for the East Coast over the next few years. And it won’t be long before “hurricane season” begins.

Now is the time to get ready to weather the storm. Continue reading